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Could infidelity be normal?

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Jimmy1962 posted 6/18/2019 09:17 AM

I have been reading on here for the last two years for several hours a day. At first it was very comforting to know that I was not the only person to have been cheated on. This site helped me realize that I was not alone with all of my grief. But the more I read the more I think maybe infidelity is a normal part of life. It seems like everyone is doing it. There are literally millions of posts on here about infidelity. I also look at quite a few other sites about infidelity. I am sure millions of people are out there going thru this but have not found this site.
In therapy I had to realize that my fairytale marriage and my perfect wife were only in my mind. I had to realize that my wife is human and not perfect. I had to realize that my marriage is just an average marriage and nothing special.
I just read a post here (Topic: Daughter had a DDay) about posters on here whose children have been cheated on. Infidelity is rampant and always has been.
Finding out about my wifes affair was a big hit to my ego. I thought that I was the MAN of the house. Upon finding that she had a stud on the side was devastating to me. I now even feel worse about myself. I always thought that I was a alpha male. I feel like a slacker because I am not chasing women looking for some strange on the side. Maybe there is no God, maybe there are no sins, maybe we are just passing thru and we should go for it. Do whatever we want to do when we want to do it. Are there really consequences? So what, you cheat, your spouse gets upset but they will get over it. If they don't get over it and they give you too much grief just leave them and go on. (I had to back off of my wife or I was going to run her off. Several times she told me that she did not think we were going to make it because I was not getting over it. I had to work hard to put it behind me and I had to keep some of my anger and sadness to myself or I would have lost her.)
This shit is a real mind bender for me!

layla1234 posted 6/18/2019 09:27 AM

I think more than half the people in my life have been a victim of infidelity. It's scary. It helps me to work on my marriage because I don't have as much hope starting all over. If someone you've known for so long and been married to for x amount of years can cheat, then what's the point?? Also, I can understand divorce rates a lot better now. There should be an added study on whether or not infidelity has occured in those divorces.

Rideitout posted 6/18/2019 09:27 AM

Could it be? No. It is normal. Unarguably, it's a normal part of human relationships. That doesn't make it good, right or acceptable, but it's most certainly normal. Look around you right now. See how many brown eyes are looking back at you. Brown is pretty "normal" in the US right? Well, depends on who's stats you go by, every one of those brown eyes looking back at you has been either cheated on or was a cheater (or both). Are brown eyes "abnormal"? No, not even a little bit, in fact, they are common. As is cheating. I suspect that it's rare today to NOT be cheated on throughout your lifetime. My WW was cheated on several times. I probably was, but I didn't really care, so I never bothered to figure it out one way or the other (except, of course, by my WW). Even if you get to the most intimate of relationships, marriage, it's still common to be cheated on. If there are 3 married couples in the room, good chance that 1 and perhaps 2 of them has been cheated on or was the cheater.

It's more "normal", by far, than just about any other seriously negative action people take in their lives (actions that hurt other people).

I feel like a slacker because I am not chasing women looking for some strange on the side. Maybe there is no God, maybe there are no sins, maybe we are just passing thru and we should go for it

I feel the same way (a slacker). Like, I could do what the OM did if I just put my butt in gear. I know that's a terrible thing to say, but I just wanted to say, no matter how wrong I find cheating (and I do find it very wrong), I still can't shake the feeling that "your just too lazy to do it". I have difficulty attributing "you don't do it because your a good person" because, well, I'm not a good person at all. I have massive flaws, including a total disregard for what most people think is right/wrong.

To the 2nd part, I'm an atheist. Yes, we are just passing through. No, none of it matters in the end. However, that in no way gives me carte blanche to hurt other people. Just because I don't believe there's a god doesn't mean that I should go wild and hurt people. And that, more than anything, is what keeps me from doing it (even more than my laziness!). Affairs make the world a less happy place and I'd hurt people badly without anywhere near enough personal pleasure to make up for the hurt caused others. And I really, really like to have sex; especially NSA sex, but, even with that motivation, there's still not enough joy in it to justify the pain I'd cause to others. And that pain DOES matter. Passing thru or not, we don't have to make the world a crappier place than it needs to be. And cheating, IMHO, just craps the place up for other people. All the pain that my WW's affair caused to so many people, me, OBS, her, maybe even her AP (serial though, so I'm not sure about one), his family, my family.. So much pain for what? A few orgasms and a whole lot of "love you snugglpuff" empty words.. That's just a terrible trade, no matter how you look at it.

It helps me to work on my marriage because I don't have as much hope starting all over.

I look at it this way too. Sure, I could D, and marry someone who hasn't cheated on me.. But is that "hasn't cheated on me YET" or "won't cheat on me". There's no way to tell. And some of it is just a total confluence of events, my WW wouldn't have cheated if the stars hadn't aligned to put her in that situation. Would she have cheated later in the M? Maybe, maybe not. It's certainly not a random toss of the dice, there are certain people who are MUCH more likely to cheat than others (professions, income, etc). But even selecting from the "low likelyhood" group I was still cheated on. So, you just never know. Chances are pretty good I could go through a D, find someone new, get into a relationship and just get cheated on again. So it's hard to see how that's worth it to me.

[This message edited by Rideitout at 9:38 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/18/2019 09:39 AM

Yes, I think it's normal, just like it's normal across other species. However, we humans have the ability to choose. Our brains can process more than primal instinct and the urge to procreate as much as possible.

I don't believe in God. Therefore, I don't believe in sin. That does not mean that I think everyone should just run amok. We can do whatever we want to do with ourselves as long as we don't hurt others along the way. My fch, otoh, is Catholic and he cheated. Maybe cheating is less of a sin than divorce?

I'm one of those posters whose child was cheated on. My mother cheated on my dad and got pregnant by the OM. They divorced. I was cheated on by the father of my 1st child. I married someone who was the polar opposite of the kind of guy that my baby daddy was. He cheated, too. Everyone said he was the last person who would ever cheat. I was not naive enough to think it could never happen.

All I can do is live my life the way I see fit. I can't control what other people do. I also won't wrap my entire existence around someone else.

ibonnie posted 6/18/2019 09:40 AM

I feel like a slacker because I am not chasing women looking for some strange on the side.

This is one of the thoughts my WH used to justify his affair. "Every other guy does it, so why not me? There must be something wrong with me if I don't have a side chick, too."

The difference is that my cheating husband isn't like serial cheating/philandering husbands. After like two sexual encounters and a whole bunch of texting and "accidentally" bumping into each other at work, he realized he had found his soulmate and pretty much lost his shit -- started drinking, trying to get cocaine, trying to convince his mom that if he had met this not pretty, crazy coworker before me, he would have married her in a heartbeat.

Yes, if only he had met her 22, instead of me, then he would have married a 32 year old woman with a 12 year old daughter every 22 year old wants to settle down and become a stepdad to a tween, right?

I digress.

Maybe you should figure out why you have some wayward thinking going on there...

[This message edited by ibonnie at 9:55 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

Justsomeguy posted 6/18/2019 09:48 AM

Nope. 52 and never cheated. Not interested in it. For every cheater, there is a decent partner who got shafted. We are out there. I'm working on fixing my picker. Next time, hopefully I will be with a decent partner. Or alone but content...

Rustylife posted 6/18/2019 09:49 AM

I mean what possible consequences could there be which would be satisfactory to us? Even if my XW was the mythical remorseful wayward willing to change everything about herself, it wouldn't have been enough for me. All this alpha/beta crap is bullshit and another way to put undue pressure on men to live life a certain way. Won't get into politics but this has gained popularity with the internet culture wars and should be completely ignored. Do what makes you happy.

I know I'm way too lazy for dating constantly . Plus the payoff isn't really that satisfying for me. Hell I've ghosted so many women just because the constant messaging was making me miserable. So I can never be the OM who's constantly on the prowl. Nothing wrong with that, ((Rideitout)).


I had to back off of my wife or I was going to run her off. Several times she told me that she did not think we were going to make it because I was not getting over it
.

You should look into why you're still so afraid. One of you certainly views this marriage as more precious than the other. While your response to it has been really extreme towards the AP, not being over it in 2 years isn't really uncommon. Kids and a long marriage make it hard to really get out, but maybe it's a deal breaker for you. Have you envisioned your life without your wife in it? Can't really be that bad. Clean 50/50 split and leaving all this ugliness behind.

Rideitout posted 6/18/2019 09:52 AM

The difference is that my cheating husband isn't like other cheating husbands. After like two sexual encounters and a whole bunch of texting and "accidentally" bumping into each other at work, he realized he had found his soulmate and pretty much lost his shit -- started drinking, trying to get cocaine, trying to convince his mom that if he had met this not pretty, crazy coworker before me, he would have married her in a heartbeat.

What an idiot. See, while I post often about how "normalized" cheating is in my circles of men, this type of behavior would absolutely be shunned by that same group. Falling in love with the AP is strictly verboten by just about every cheating man I know. It's kind of like "Pretty Women", you don't fall in love with a hooker, just like you don't fall in love with an AP.

Maybe you should figure out why you have some wayward thinking going on there...

Oh, I know why I have that wayward thinking going on. I'd enjoy what an A offers. There's no question about it, my WW's A reads like a "Penthouse letter" that I used to masturbate to as a teenager. When I read about affairs here, lots of them pretty much fall into my idea of dream relationship, lots of sex, no commitment, no dates, no nothing except meet up and f**k. That's something I enjoyed as a young man, and something I'm sure I'd enjoy today. So that's why I think "your a slacker" sometimes, a combination of "you'd like this if you did it" and "lots of people are doing it". This isn't to say I actually am a slacker, or that I think guys doing it are better, I'm not and I don't. But it doesn't stop me from feeling that way sometimes.

cancuncrushed posted 6/18/2019 09:55 AM

If it is considered normal, we should all look into revenge affairs.....

Not a solution....but it would maybe make them think first....its mostly one sided...someone gets away with it...

Rustylife posted 6/18/2019 10:03 AM

my WW's A reads like a "Penthouse letter" that I used to masturbate to as a teenager.

Is it really? Most of these cheaters love having sex in the back of the car/parking lot and to me, that just seems so unappealing and gross. Can't really imagine it being a good or memorable experience. Other BSs can chime in and give their opinion, does rushed sex in a minivan seems like your dream sex fantasy? Probably another way we're built different than the WS. My XW was really particular about the places she bought clothes at, where she liked to live etc. Same attitude with sex. I doubt the AP broadened her horizons

Rideitout posted 6/18/2019 10:08 AM

My XW was really particular about the places she bought clothes at, where she liked to live etc. Same attitude with sex. I doubt the AP broadened her horizons

Well, I see you've D'ed, so hopefully this won't matter to you anymore, but I wouldn't be so sure. My WW would NEVER have sex in a car with me. Had it with the AP on the 2nd "date". He absolutely "broadened her horizons" sexually, and, sadly, that's pretty typical in affairs. A whole lot of "no's" sexually for the H/W become "Yes, please, I'd love that" with the AP. The longest threads since I've been on SI have all been about that very issue, WS's doing thing for the AP that they wouldn't do with their BS's (and maybe still won't do, in some cases).

Most of these cheaters love having sex in the back of the car/parking lot and to me, that just seems so unappealing and gross.

Well, the car/parking lot part of, not really appealing. But it's not so much the act itself, but what that act says. "I'm so horny for you that I'll blow you in this parking lot while people walk by and not even care". That's INCREDIBLY appealing to me, has nothing at all to do with the location though, it's all about having a woman so attracted to me that she'd so something like that.

whattheh posted 6/18/2019 10:14 AM

Cheating seems to be a common occurrence and it's being normalized more and more across our culture. In some cheater social circles it's accepted and promoted. But it is also still looked down upon by many.
Some cheaters feel deep shame when they are exposed.

I see lots of references by psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists in videos relating adultery as indicative of mental illness in the adulterers such as sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists. I personally have noted patterns of high risk takers tending to be cheaters.

I agree with others that it is very difficult to figure out whether a mate will cheat down the road or not. My informal risk analysis I've done on my fWH lead me to stay especially given longterm marriage. In his case he was always upfront with APs and in profiles about not wanting to leave our M. And yes he has forever changed the course of our M and relationship. But at my age I'm content to stay with this known entity esp with safeguards we have in place. Also a D at our retirement age would make us both suffer financial consequences and have to go back into work force which I don't relish due to health and other concerns.

[This message edited by whattheh at 10:18 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

ibonnie posted 6/18/2019 10:30 AM

What an idiot. See, while I post often about how "normalized" cheating is in my circles of men, this type of behavior would absolutely be shunned by that same group. Falling in love with the AP is strictly verboten by just about every cheating man I know. It's kind of like "Pretty Women", you don't fall in love with a hooker, just like you don't fall in love with an AP.

Yeah, that's why when you describe the wayward men you know, it doesn't fit my husband/situation at all. He like, completely and totally went off the deep end for a couple of months. Like REALLY off the deep end.

Like accusing his aunt, who was going through chemo at the time, whose white blood cell count was too low, and was advised by her doctor to avoid crowds and little kids, of judging him for his affair and saying that's why she couldn't see him and the kids one weekend.

Or going out to dinner with coworkers (all men) and getting considerably drunker than everyone else because someone dared him to drink a wine glass full of whiskey, drinking two full ones to show them ( ), then going out to a bar for drinks. Then everyone left and he continued on to another bar solo, threw up in the bathroom, and got into a fight. Turns out the bar fight was because he trying to find someone to buy cocaine from, they were insulted, AND THEN he whipped out his badge and threatened to arrest them for assaulting an officer. And (at the time) he couldn't understand why no one else found this story funny and thought we (me, his mom) were overreacting with our concern.

Or trying to convince me that I would really like his AP, because she's such a nice person, and when I asked for an example, "she feeds the neighborhood stray cats." Oh, and the only flaw he could think of that she had was that she ate too much junk food and was too.

I think the men you encounter are typically serial cheating philander (which, from a psychological stand point have issues with women in general), which are completely different than the one-time cheaters who (in my husband's case) completely lose touch with reality for awhile. Read Frank Pittman's description of "romantic infidelity."

Oh, I know why I have that wayward thinking going on. I'd enjoy what an A offers. There's no question about it, my WW's A reads like a "Penthouse letter" that I used to masturbate to as a teenager. When I read about affairs here, lots of them pretty much fall into my idea of dream relationship, lots of sex, no commitment, no dates, no nothing except meet up and f**k. That's something I enjoyed as a young man, and something I'm sure I'd enjoy today. So that's why I think "your a slacker" sometimes, a combination of "you'd like this if you did it" and "lots of people are doing it". This isn't to say I actually am a slacker, or that I think guys doing it are better, I'm not and I don't. But it doesn't stop me from feeling that way sometimes.

Idk, that doesn't sound like wayward thinking to me. Prior to meeting my H, I was having lots of sex, no commitments, no dates, lots of hanging out & hooking up, and going about my day. During his A, and when we were NC, that life didn't sound unappealing to me, although I was waiting until we were legally separated before I would consider hooking up with anyone.

Wayward thinking (IMO) involves lying to yourself. Telling yourself that you DESERVE this. Convincing yourself that your wife would never find out, or if she did she wouldn't care, or if she did, it's justified because five years ago she forgot to get you a birthday present, therefore she's a terrible wife and the only person who understands you is this 24yo waitress that wants to suck your dick in a bar bathroom because you're so amazing, and if you weren't so amazing, she wouldn't want to do this to you, and the 24yo dick sucker is such a good person, and the fact that she has three baby daddies and lost custody of all of her kids just shows that the world is against her and only you can help this poor wounded angel out.

That sounds like wayward thinking, to me.

DevastatedDee posted 6/18/2019 10:39 AM

Is it really? Most of these cheaters love having sex in the back of the car/parking lot and to me, that just seems so unappealing and gross. Can't really imagine it being a good or memorable experience. Other BSs can chime in and give their opinion, does rushed sex in a minivan seems like your dream sex fantasy? Probably another way we're built different than the WS. My XW was really particular about the places she bought clothes at, where she liked to live etc. Same attitude with sex. I doubt the AP broadened her horizons

Kind of like how I view my WH's cheating...paying people for sex. I am appalled at the very idea of paying anyone to pretend to want me. Ew, gross, and pathetic. I would much rather stay home and masturbate. Yet that's a common thing cheaters do too.

LostHope8008 posted 6/18/2019 10:41 AM

Iíve cheated, my wife cheated, my ex wife cheated, my parents cheated (Iím not exactly sure 100% who my dad is) my SIL cheated on my brother, and the list goes on. It all seems normal to me now. I donít believe in god, but if I did, Iíd have a hard time believing in him now.

Cooley2here posted 6/18/2019 10:50 AM

In my job I worked with lots of families. Cheating robs everyone involved, especially the children. A marriage is a contract. In the US it also involves emotional commitment. Children born to that couple understand almost immediately that they are now part of the contract. When one person breaks the contract with their spouse the crock of shit always dumped on the kids is, ďIím not divorcing you, just your mother/father.Ē Guess how many kids actually buy that lie. So they grow up knowing people lie, cheat and leave. This is where they hit puberty and TADA! use drugs or have an early pregnancy or they drop out of school. Cheating sucks on so many levels.
The best thing a cheater can do is stay involved with their children. In fact their new love should be put aside until the kids feel safe enough to trust the cheater again. Guess how many times that has happened. Believe it or not it happened in my family. The cheater saw what was happening to the kids and let the new love go. Rededicated to the kids. So far, so good.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 10:53 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

truthsetmefree posted 6/18/2019 10:52 AM

Normal? I donít even know how to answer this question in that context. Common? Yes...perhaps. But I think I know just as many people that have NOT cheated on their spouse as I do that have.

Cheating is just a reflection of a personís values. To define that in a context of normal OR common, simply means basing one's values on the values of others - which seems a bit of a hypocrisy to then consider them your own values. The very premise that the values must then also entail lying and misrepresentation basically leaves a conundrum of ďthis is who I am...but you must consider that within the context that I also lie about who I amĒ.

Do you see the duplicity? Not to mention that values dependent on externals are not really values at all - at least not from an ethics or morality stand point.

I think what you are questioning is a reflection of this. Have your values for monogamy really been based on *your* true values...or have they been based on a bartering system of if I do A, then I will be given B. I think this is a question many BSs face after dday...because until our supposed values have been tested in the fire, we donít really know if they are our values....or if they are simply our adaptations to how we believe we can best navigate the world and get what we want/need. In an ironic and often bitter way, this is the gift of infidelity...we are challenged to really answer that question.

So what really are your values, Jimmy? Donít be afraid to explore this question. Donít be afraid to really answer that question. Itís one reason why I appreciate even the RA question...because this is what I see as being at the heart of it. The fact that such exploration may result in some degrees of an existential crisis (ie, maybe there really is no God) is only to be expected. The hardest part is to allow the existential crisis...to recognize that so much of what you just assumed, you really just assumed. You think you are trying to understand your WW - the person you just assumed you knew. But what you are really trying to do is to understand yourself - also the person you just assumed you knew. Therein lies the real treasure.

[This message edited by truthsetmefree at 10:54 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

trustedg posted 6/18/2019 10:52 AM

Maybe it seems normal to some, but not others. I don't think it is normal and know a lot of people (M&F) that think like me. Obviously my WH though it was normal.

Cheatee posted 6/18/2019 10:59 AM

What does "normal" mean?

Does it mean it is a practice by the majority of persons in a culture?

Does it mean it is an expected cultural norm?

If someone wants to have sex with a lot of people, I don't judge, assuming it's fully informed consent for all parties. Orgies, polyamory, I don't see a problem with any of it, as long as all the players in the game know the rules.

My issue is when people make an intimate promise to be sexually faithful and then unilaterally and secretly decide to not honor that promise.

The prevalence of breaking such an important promise does not, in my mind, mean it should be normalizaed.

crazyblindsided posted 6/18/2019 10:59 AM

I think it is the norm as well (well not normal but happens more than you think). My parents met each other by cheating and both left their spouses then had me. My uncle had 3 wives. My cousin left his wife for another women then divorced after 2 years. My WS cheated. I cheated. My sisters' ex-H cheated. All my girlfriends either have cheated or been cheated on. I have to be honest I'm not sure I know any couple that hasn't been touched by infidelity. Maybe my grandparents.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 11:00 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)]

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